The day started out chilly and damp yesterday. The perfect kind of day to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee. Because I was cold all morning, a big bowl of warm soup sounded like the perfect lunch. Happily I had some frozen homemade marinara sauce in the freezer, the quickest and easiest way to throw together a delicious tomato soup. I thawed some of it out, added some water and let it bubble away on the stove until nice and hot. For some additional flavor I added in a scoop of basil pesto for freshness and a couple of dashes of smoked paprika for a little smokey flavor. I topped it all off with some grilled and charred sweet corn, thinly sliced green onion, and some nice, sharp aged cheddar cheese. It was the perfect lunch to warm up to on this chilly June Saturday.
I love using leftover marinara as a base for a quick tomato soup. All of the work has really already been done, all you need to do is heat it up and add some add whatever additional flavors you want, if any. Basil is always a good option, but really any herb will work. If you are wanting something a little creamier, you can always add a little bit of cream, sour cream or yogurt and if you need something a little heartier you can also add in some white beans or quinoa, or even rice or noodles.
Then toppings, I always like a flavorful cheese like sharp cheddar, parmesan, smoked provolone, but you can use whatever you have on hand. This was the first time I have tried adding corn to a tomato soup and I highly recommend it. The crunchy and sweet corn kernels just burst in your mouth, full of flavor. Thin sliced onions, crispy croutons or chopped sweet pepper would also be wonderful additions.
Smokey Tomato and Charred Corn Soup
- 1 cup pre-made marinara sauce, homemade or store bought
- Approximately 1 cup water or stock
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup grilled corn kernels
- Thinly sliced green onion
- Grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt, to taste
Combine the marinara, water or stock and smoked paprika in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 5-10 minutes to let it all heat up and help the flavors to really meld. You may want to add more or less water depending on how thick your marinara is and how thick or thin you like your tomato soup.
Once the soup is nice and hot, transfer to a bowl and taste for seasoning. Top soup with grilled corn, green onion and cheddar cheese.